Moscow: A “fire show” at a Moscow strip club sparked an inferno that killed 10 people on 25 March, putting pressure on prosecutors to open a new inquiry into Russia’s latest fire disaster.
A Bulgarian national was among the dead, who were overcome by toxic fumes. Four people were also injured and more than 150 evacuated from the 911 Club.
According to witnesses it was a nightly “fire show” at the club where strong alcohol was overflowing. Things went horribly wrong as the fire snowballed into a veritable disaster at the location.
An eye witness reported on state television, “a barman’s clothing caught fire, after which flame spread to a five-litre container with spirits before the stage caught fire.”State television showed charred seating, overturned tables and a blackened stage inside the club after firemen had put out the blaze.
“The legality of this fire show is being checked. Usually, there is a flame and it goes down. But the barman’s hair caught fire after which the whole bar was in flames.”
An AFP reporter saw five body bags being carried out of the building, as well as fire crews and investigators working at the scene. The street on which the building is located has been closed off to traffic.
The club occupies part of the historic Lenkom theatre building, which dates back to 1907 and the blaze covered around 100 square metres (1,075 square feet).
The fire started near the bar and quickly engulfed the club with carbon monoxide, killing people on the spot. Moscow prosecutors have launched an investigation into safety at the club.
The fire was the latest deadly blaze in recent months in Russia to raise concern about compliance with safety regulations.
Multiple safety violations at a state-run nursing home in southern Russia earlier this month were blamed for a fire that killed 63 people at the facility.
The breaches included insufficient extinguishers and other firefighting equipment, as well as a lack of electric torches and emergency breathing equipment for staff, the emergency situations ministry said in a statement.
In December last year, a fire in a Moscow drug rehabilitation clinic killed 45 women. Many of the victims were trapped by metal bars on the windows that staff could not open and an emergency exit was boarded up, officials said.